Keyword: rebuildingiraq

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  • Inspector General: Much of Money for Iraq Reconstruction Wasted

    03/07/2013 6:46:57 AM PST · by IbJensen · 21 replies
    The New American ^ | 06 March 2013 | Bob Adelmann
    In his final report, released this month, on how $63 billion of American taxpayers’ money was spent in reconstructing Iraq after the end of the Iraq war, Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen asked two questions: “What happened to the money?” and “What effect did it have?” The next 185 pages of his report reviews where it went, how much was wasted, and what effect it had in restoring Iraq’s infrastructure so that life there could return to some sort of normal. The answer to the first question, “what happened to the money?” is that much of it was wasted. He...
  • Iraq Inks $17B Deal with Shell, Mitsubishi

    11/29/2011 5:20:59 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies · 1+ views
    Rig Zone ^ | November 28, 2011 | Mitsubishi Corp
    The Iraqi Ministry of Oil (MoO) formally signed a joint venture agreement with Shell, the South Gas Company (SGC), an affiliate of MoO, and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) on an initiative to capture associated gas in South Iraq. MC made an agreement with Shell to take a 5% interest in the project in August 2009. Following the Iraq government approval made on 15th November this year, SGC, Shell and MC have signed agreements associated with the project. These agreements create the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) Joint Venture, made up of Iraq's SGC (51%), Shell (44%) and MC (5%). Some 700 million...
  • On the Ground: U.S. Forces Build Better Quality of Life in Iraq

    07/22/2009 10:21:48 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 186+ views
    WASHINGTON, July 22, 2009 – Construction efforts took center stage in Mosul, Iraq, recently as U.S. soldiers built a new combat outpost and took on a new renovation mission, military officials reported. Soldiers of the 643rd Engineer Company are nearing completion of Combat Outpost India in Iraq’s northern province of Ninevah. They started the project in mid-June. The outpost is slated to be used as a training site for local Iraqi security forces, said Army Capt. Joshua A. Long, technical headquarters officer in charge for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 130th Engineer Brigade. The outpost also will make areas north of...
  • Preserving the Ancient City of Babylon

    07/04/2009 10:13:12 AM PDT · by SandRat · 2 replies · 573+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Capt. Stephen Short, USA
    A hilltop view of the ancient city of Babylon, where King Nebuchadnezzar II, whose life spanned 630-562 B.C., built his hanging gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Photo by Maj. Mike Feeney, 172nd Infantry Brigade. HILLAH — Soldiers of the 172nd Infantry Brigade are enabling documentarians, historians and preservationists as they work to ensure ancient Iraqi history is preserved and documented in Babil province. The Soldiers provide these experts transportation and security as they conduct site surveys of Babylon, an ancient city near the modern city of HillahThe Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team hosted the World Monuments Fund...

    06/30/2009 3:13:48 AM PDT · by Scanian · 5 replies · 919+ views
    NYPost ^ | June 30, 2009 | Ralph Peters
    OUR effort in Iraq passed a major milestone today: Our troops are leaving the cities. Advisers remain in place. Joint patrols will still occur. And our forces will wait nearby to respond to Iraqi calls for support. But the last of the bases and US-only outposts within Iraq's urban centers will be vacated. Terrorists have already begun testing the new security arrangements. Iraqi forces won't always pass with flying colors. Yet this situation seemed a pipe dream not so long ago: Iraq's security forces, serving an elected government, assume primary responsibility for the good order of their own country. We...
  • Bible Skeptics Take Note: Babylon Is Being Rebuilt, Just As Prophesised

    06/29/2009 3:17:41 PM PDT · by GiovannaNicoletta · 58 replies · 2,553+ views ^ | June 28, 2009 | Joel Rosenberg
    Regular readers of this weblog and my books know that Bible prophecy says the ancient city of Babylon, Iraq will be rebuilt and become the greatest center of wealth, commerce and power in the “last days” of history. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Revelation are explicit on this subject. Skeptics and cynics abound, to be sure, but the fact is Babylon is being rebuilt right now, in part with U.S. taxpayer funds. Iraqi leaders hope that eventually millions of tourists will come to visit, and real progress is being made. Consider today’s edition of Stars & Stripes, a...
  • Seminar Educates Iraqi Businesswomen

    06/24/2009 4:12:32 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 189+ views
    Iraqi Member of Parliament Safiya Talib al-Suhail was keynote speaker at an Iraqi women's business seminar June 20 in Baghdad. Al-Suhail has a long history of promoting the rights and status of Iraqi women. USACE Photo by Rick Haverinen. BAGHDAD — Sustainment contracting was the focus of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division (GRD)-sponsored women's business seminar here, June 20, as 35 Iraqi businesswomen attended this half-day event, part of a continuing series of meetings for the Women's Advocate Initiative. "Our goal is to encourage and support Iraqi businesswomen to be more involved in the execution and...
  • Soldiers Assist in Iraqi Business Initiatives

    06/15/2009 4:49:11 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 171+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. Mark Miranda, USA
    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq, June 15, 2009 – Just a short bus trip from work and in a well-secured area here, soldiers of 1st Armored Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team can be seen on any given day shopping in the Iraqi-based industrial zone. Army Spc. Jerrod Quinn and Army Spc. Jill Grey browse an electronics counter at the Oasis market on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, June 10, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mark Miranda  (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. Industrial zone locations are designated secure areas on coalition bases where a commercial business with a...
  • Uday’s Baghdad Villas Demolished, New Saudi Embassy Slated for Site

    04/06/2009 6:17:46 PM PDT · by SandRat · 11 replies · 627+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Staff Sgt. Tim Beckham, USAF
    Capt. Michelle Sterling goes over demolition plans with her team members while one of the three villas once belonging to bath party members is being demolished to make room for a new foreign embassy. Photo by Staff Sgt. Tim Beckham, Baghdad Media Outreach Team. BAGHDAD — It has been said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. But a group of Iraqi contractors, with the help of a U.S. Airman, are taking a different approach. They are burying the past to rebuild a new future.The past, in this case, are three villas located here in...
  • Iraqi Contractors Provide Base Security

    04/05/2009 1:21:36 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 284+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Staff Sgt. John Gordinier,USAF
    An Iraqi screener searches a local national before entering Joint Base Balad, April 1. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Lionel Castellano, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. JOINT BASE BALAD — More than 100 Iraqis were recently contracted to secure the outer perimeter of this base to help protect the men and women serving here. “This contract is a first of its kind,” said Lt. Col. Raymond Reyes, Joint Base Balad (JBB) Regional Contracting Center commander. “Putting a requirement to employ 80 percent of the contractor’s workforce from the local area is an innovative contracting solution to implementing the Joint Campaign Plan.“This is...
  • Iraqis See Their Country Improving

    04/01/2009 4:16:19 AM PDT · by Ravnagora · 2 replies · 310+ views
    FrontPage Magazine ^ | April 1, 2009 | Jamie Weinstein
    Things are looking brighter in Iraq, according to a recently released poll of Iraqis conducted at the end of February. The poll was sponsored by ABC, the BBC and Japan’s NHK. Asked how well things were going for them in their life, 65 percent of Iraqi respondents said things were going well for them. This is compared to 55 percent of Iraqis responding in a similar manner in February 2008 and just 39 percent saying life was going well for them in August 2007. On a personal level, Iraqis seem optimistic about their futures. Fifty-six percent of Iraqis believe that...
  • Servicemembers Help to Restore Scout Program in Iraq

    03/26/2009 4:16:38 PM PDT · by SandRat · 10 replies · 442+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. 1st Class Ron Burke, USA
    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, March 26, 2009 – A dedicated group of servicemembers is helping to restore the Scouting movement in Iraq, one child at a time. Five-year-old Mariem looks to Army Maj. Gary Farley for assurance as she assembles the wheelbase for a model plane at Camp Victory, Iraq, March 21, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Ron Burke  (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. When Iraq embraced the program in 1921, its Boy Scout and Girl Guide program became a member of the World Organization Scouting Movement. However, due to war and instability, it has been...
  • Environmentally Engineered Landfill in Kirkuk is First for Iraq

    03/02/2009 3:22:56 PM PST · by SandRat · 1 replies · 246+ views
    KIRKUK, Iraq, March 2, 2009 – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is part of a joint, multinational effort to provide solutions for city officials here on what to do with the 900 tons of trash Kirkuk residents generate daily. A truck offloads trash at Solid Waste Transfer Station 1, south of Kirkuk, Iraq. The $2.5 million facility has the capacity to handle 300 tons of waste per day. U.S. Army photo   (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. For years, Kirkuk residents have been dumping their garbage into unregulated areas or merely unloading it in open fields outside...
  • U.S. To Help Rebuild City Of Babylon In Iraq

    02/18/2009 8:54:19 PM PST · by uptoolate · 20 replies · 1,675+ views
    Worldview Times ^ | 02/17/09 | Joel C. Rosenberg
    U.S. To Help Rebuild City Of Babylon In Iraq By Joel C. Rosenberg Largely overlooked by the Western news media over the past few weeks was an enormously significant story. The government of Iraq is moving forward with plans to protect the archaeological remains of the ancient City of Babylon, in preparation for building a modern city of Babylon. The project, originally started by the late Saddam Hussein, is aimed eventually at attracting scores of "cultural tourists" from all over the world to see the glories of Mesopotamia's most famous city. What's more, the Obama Administration is contributing $700,000 towards...
  • Christians 'In Iraq Since Its Birth', Say They Want Role in Rebuilding

    02/21/2009 7:32:38 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 4 replies · 369+ views
    Beirut (ENI) -- A group of Christians meeting in Lebanon have declared that people of their faith have belonged to Iraq since the nation's birth and that they are not just a minority but an essential part of Iraqi society and deeply rooted in its history and civilisation. "As authentic children of this land, they have the right to live freely in it and enjoy equal rights and responsibilities along with all other citizens," the 12 Iraqi church leaders said after their meeting on 10 and 11 February in Dar Sayedat Al Jabal, Fatka in Lebanon. "The solution to current...
  • Iraqi Police and Judges Work More Closely to Solve Crimes

    02/10/2009 3:50:51 PM PST · by SandRat · 2 replies · 263+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson, USA
    FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq, Feb. 10, 2009 – Historically in Iraqi culture, police and judges didn’t work with each other to solve cases. That is beginning to change as the nascent police investigative branch in Iraq’s Wasit province is working hand-in-hand with the province’s investigative judges. Art Oates, a law enforcement professional from Houston, teaches soldiers how to enter data into handheld identity detection equipment. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson  (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. “Our relationship with the Iraqi police is good,” said the chief judge in Hayy, Iraq, whose name is...
  • Iraqi Legal System Continues to Strengthen

    02/02/2009 5:52:49 PM PST · by SandRat · 2 replies · 310+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Spc. Josh LeCappelain, USA
    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, Feb. 2, 2009 – As the Iraqi security forces continue to improve their ability to protect Iraq’s people, a strong judicial branch that can help bring criminals to justice becomes increasingly important. “I think the [Iraqi legal system] is improving,” Army Capt. Ronald Alcala, Multinational Division Center’s rule of law chief, said. Coalition forces have had a huge impact by helping to professionalize the Iraqi forces and providing training on crime-scene management and investigative procedures, he added. The Iraqi legal system places more of an emphasis on testimonial evidence, usually from two or more witnesses, and less...
  • Iraq economy 'on track' says IMF

    12/24/2008 9:46:25 AM PST · by FocusNexus · 10 replies · 483+ views
    BBC news ^ | Dec. 18, 2008 | BBC
    Economic development in Iraq in 2008 has been "encouraging" according to a review of the country's economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Improved security and a more stable political environment mean economic activity has "picked up" on the back of increased oil production and exports. IMF deputy managing director Takatoshi Kato said the authorities had kept the economic programme "on track". Oil revenue in 2009 would be much lower than in 2008, he added. To compensate, the Iraqi government has already prepared measures to reduce spending next year.
  • Bush, Maliki Sign Security Pact in Baghdad

    12/15/2008 3:32:56 PM PST · by SandRat · 4 replies · 374+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden, USA
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2008 – With fewer than 40 days left in office, President George W. Bush signed a security pact in Baghdad yesterday, putting an end in sight for the Iraq war after nearly six years of fighting. “The war is not over yet,” Bush said, “[but] it is decisively on its way to being won.” During a surprise farewell visit to Baghdad yesterday, Bush met with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a signing ceremony, affirming the two landmark agreements to withdraw U.S. troops and formalizing a long-term relationship between the two countries. “[The agreements] cement a...
  • Sports Club in Basra source of local pride

    12/13/2008 8:49:58 AM PST · by SandRat · 3 replies · 410+ views
    Basrah, Iraq — Hundreds of Iraqis in al-Tanoma city in east Basra will soon have access to a modern sports club where they can host and watch sporting events. The project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is designed to provide a safe haven for youth to play, practice and develop their skills. “The rehabilitation work for the four decades old facility is an important step to meeting the needs of Basra’s next generation of athletes,” said Lateef Khlaf, the sports club administrator. “As you know, the Iraqi people love sports like soccer and basketball. They will be very...
  • Army Corps of Engineers Plant Sends Clean Water Into Baghdad Homes

    12/05/2008 3:41:01 PM PST · by SandRat · 7 replies · 531+ views
    BAGHDAD, Dec. 5, 2008 – For about 2 million Sadr City residents, clean drinking water running through their home faucets was a luxury few had. But now the water is flowing freely thanks to a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water treatment plant that was three years in the making. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project engineer Simeon Francis examines filter actuators as they are being cleaned at the R-3 water treatment plant in Baghdad. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo  (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. “I am very happy for the 2 million people of Sadr...
  • Scouting program takes life again in Iraq (Baghdad)

    12/02/2008 3:31:38 PM PST · by SandRat · 7 replies · 501+ views
    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – The scouting movement in Iraq was revitalized in 2004 by the Green Zone Council, a group of Coalition forces in Baghdad who saw value in having Iraqi children involved with their communities. Today, service members continue to work with the youth of Iraq on Saturday afternoons at a small community just outside the Victory Base Complex. “You can look around and, if nothing else, you are doing something good here because you are creating a positive impact for Iraqi families and the children,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Fretz, who is helping bring the scouting program back...
  • Iraq parliament passes landmark U.S. security pact

    11/27/2008 6:22:01 AM PST · by Sub-Driver · 20 replies · 953+ views
    Iraq parliament passes U.S. security pact Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:12am EST By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament approved a landmark security pact with the United States Thursday that paves the way for U.S. forces to withdraw by the end of 2011. The deal, which parliament linked after days of fractious negotiations to a series of promised political reforms and a public referendum next year, brings in sight an end to the U.S. military presence that began with the 2003 invasion. Lawmakers in Iraq's 275-seat parliament passed the deal with a majority of 149 out of 198 present,...
  • Salman Pak Kindergarten School Refurbished, Opened for Students (Yes that Salman Pak)

    11/23/2008 6:52:12 AM PST · by SandRat · 12 replies · 741+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Lt. Col. Wayne Marotto, USA
    A student at the Wurwood Kindergarten holds the tray with the scissors for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the school in Salman Pak, Nov. 21, 2008. Photo by Lt. Col. Wayne Marotto, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs. BAGHDAD — Wurwood Kindergarten School officially reopened its doors Nov. 21 in the Rasheed neighborhood of Salman Pak after a two-month-long refurbishing period. The school has 350 students enrolled, ages 4 to 5 years old, and six class rooms. Prior to the refurbishment, the school could only hold 60 students. The school employs eight teachers, a director and an assistant.“The...
  • New Government Center Opens for Habbaniyah Citizens

    11/09/2008 7:39:15 AM PST · by SandRat · 2 replies · 158+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Lance Cpl. Scott Schmidt, USMC
    Saturday, 08 November 2008 HABBANIYAH — A throng of Habbaniyah government officials, police and citizens gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the Habbaniyah government center, Oct. 25. The government center has been four months in the making and is now complete, standing as a symbol of a representative government taking hold in the area. Now both the mayor of Habbaniyah and the city council work together, under the same roof, to govern the district. “The collaboration among different local governments is critical,” explained Kevin Anderson, a representative from the Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team – Ramadi....
  • Iraq signs billion-dollar power deals with GE, Siemens (Where's the outrage MSNBC?)

    09/28/2008 9:01:46 AM PDT · by tobyhill · 9 replies · 665+ views
    yahoo news ^ | 9/28/2008 | Simon Webb/Reuters
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Iraq has signed preliminary deals worth billions of dollars with General Electric Co and Siemens for equipment to almost double electricity generation capacity, an energy official said on Saturday. The deals with GE, Siemens and a third company would be worth a total of $7 billion to $8 billion, Iraq's Electricity Minister Karim Waheed told Reuters. Years of war, sanctions and neglect have battered Iraq's power grid and the country suffers chronic power shortages. The capital Baghdad receives only a few hours of electricity a day. The deals would mark a big step in the country's reconstruction,...
  • Successful Anbar Model Validates Security Approach in Iraq

    09/12/2008 5:25:53 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 141+ views
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2008 – When security responsibility for Iraq’s Anbar province was turned over to the Iraqi government this month, it validated the security model that has been applied throughout the country, a coalition spokesman said Sept. 11. Successful coordination of a surge in U.S. forces, the emergence of the Awakening movement, and political movement by the Iraqi government resulted in the weakening of the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network into a more containable scattering of individual cells, said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, deputy chief of strategic communications, Multinational Force Iraq. Anbar province, Driscoll said, is “now kind...
  • Sadr City Students Return to Schools with New Look, Feel

    09/06/2008 3:13:18 PM PDT · by SandRat · 4 replies · 230+ views
    BAGHDAD — When bells ring for a return to schools throughout the Sadr City district of Baghdad later this month, students at 38 schools throughout the area are in for a big surprise. Following the end of hostilities in Baghdad’s most densely populated district, nearly all the 38 schools located in Task Force Gold’s operational environment were selected for repair and refurbishment by the Soldiers of the 926th Engineer Brigade. “The youth of Sadr City represent the future,” said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, commander of the 926th Eng. Bde., in speaking about the importance of the project. “They are the...
  • Renovated Schools to Greet Sadr City Children

    09/05/2008 6:22:41 PM PDT · by SandRat · 5 replies · 293+ views
    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, Sept. 5, 2008 – When bells ring for a return to schools throughout Baghdad’s Sadr City district later this month, students at schools renovated by Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers are in for a big surprise. Local contractors in Baghdad’s Sadr City district work on refurbishing the Thatt Al Salasel School, Sept. 3, 2008. Multinational Division Baghdad spearheaded the renovation of 38 schools throughout the area. U.S. Army photo   (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. Following the end of hostilities in Baghdad’s most densely populated district, nearly all of the 38 schools in Task Force Gold’s...
  • Iraqi Business Owners Network at Trade Show

    09/04/2008 5:31:29 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 142+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. Grant Okubo, USA
    FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq, Sept. 4, 2008 – In another indication of a return to normalcy in eastern Baghdad, more than 90 organizations gathered Aug. 29 and 30 at the Palestine Hotel in the Iraqi capital’s Rusafa district for the 9 Nissan District Business Trade Show. An Iraqi businessman shows Turkish artificial grass, which is one of his company’s products, during the 9 Nissan District Business Trade Show at the Palestine Hotel in Karadah, Iraq, Aug. 30, 2008. More than 90 organizations, including more than 80 businesses, gathered for the event Aug. 29 and 30. U.S. Army photo...
  • Battered Baghdad being transformed

    09/03/2008 4:26:57 AM PDT · by naturalman1975 · 4 replies · 449+ views
    The Australian ^ | 3rd September 2008 | Patrick Walters
    BAGHDAD in 2008 is a city tantalisingly close to a genuine transformation. The first impression after an absence of two years is the stunning reduction in the appalling level of violence that had torn the city's suburbs apart over the past four years. A relative calm has now descended. On the day I arrived, there was not a single serious security incident across the whole of Baghdad. As Ramadan begins, it seems Iraqis are increasingly weary with war and yearn for a more normal life. Last week, 60,000 people crowded into a city stadium for a major football match. Rocket...
  • Iraq reaches oil agreement with China

    09/02/2008 1:12:02 PM PDT · by BGHater · 28 replies · 381+ views
    Reuters ^ | 28 Aug 2008
    Iraq and China have agreed on the terms of a $3 billion oil service contract, the Iraqi oil minister said Wednesday, announcing his country's first major oil contract with a foreign company since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The oil minister, Hussain al- Shahristani, warned that time was running out for big Western oil companies, which have pressed for years for Iraqi contracts, to seal even short-term deals that had been expected to mark their return to Iraq, which has the world's third-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iraq and the Chinese state-run oil company, CNPC, have agreed...
  • A boom in Iraq's holy city of Najaf

    08/31/2008 6:04:26 PM PDT · by George - the Other · 4 replies · 357+ views
    Baltimore Sun ^ | August 31, 2008
    NAJAF, Iraq - The city's first airport is weeks away from opening, but already a bigger one is talked about. Land prices are soaring. Merchants say they don't remember business ever being so good. Four years ago, Najaf was an urban battlefield, with American troops fighting Shiite militiamen loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Today, the Shiite holy city is a hot spot of a different kind, thanks to improved security, a free-for-all market economy - and a direct pipeline to the Shiite-led government.
  • Iraq signs $3B oil deal with China

    08/30/2008 7:26:48 AM PDT · by DemonDeac · 22 replies · 603+ views
    " Iraq has signed its first major oil deal with a foreign company since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry said Saturday." "It was the first time in more than 35 years that Iraq has allowed foreign oil companies to do business inside its borders. The contract with the China National Petroleum Corporation could be worth up to $3 billion. It would allow the CNPC to develop an oil field in southern Iraq's Wasit province for about 20 years, said Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad."
  • Iraqi Forces Struggle to Find Physicians for Medical System

    08/29/2008 12:25:43 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 170+ views
    WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2008 – Though Iraq’s military medical system has gained significant capability over the past five years, recruiting qualified physicians remains a challenge, the coalition’s top advisor to the Iraqi surgeon general said. Only 160 out of 800 available positions for physicians in the Iraqi military medical system have been filled, U.S. Army Col. (Dr.) John Powell, director of health affairs for Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, told bloggers and online journalists in a teleconference Aug. 26. “The biggest piece right now,” Powell said, “is personnel … who have medical capabilities, who can do what’s necessary to diagnose...
  • Summer Youth Program Cleans Up Taji Market

    08/13/2008 7:33:48 PM PDT · by SandRat · 3 replies · 154+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. Whitney Houston, USA
    CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Aug. 13, 2008 – Youths from Taji teamed up Aug. 11 as part of a summer youth hire program to clean up the Taji Market, northwest of Baghdad. Army Capt. Timothy Cho (right), part of the provincial reconstruction team embedded in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, along with Rudy (left), the team’s bilingual bicultural advisor, stands with Taji youth at the Taji Market, northwest of Baghdad, Aug. 11, 2008. The children are part of the summer youth hire program, which engages them in community-oriented tasks. U.S. Army photo...
  • Jordanian king - first Arab head of state to visit Baghdad since Saddam fall

    08/11/2008 1:09:46 PM PDT · by knighthawk · 11 replies · 221+ views
    al Bawaba ^ | August 11 2008
    Jordan's King Abdullah II held talks Monday with Iraq's prime minister after coming to Baghdad on an unannounced visit, the first by an Arab head of state since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003. Abdullah urged Arab governments to "extend their hand to Iraq" because a strong Iraq "is a source of strength for the Arab nation," according to a statement released by the royal palace in the Jordanian capital of Amman. An Iraqi government statement said Abdullah had "frank and positive talks" with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on ties between the two states. Al-Maliki told the king...
  • Iraq's Budget Surplus Scandal (Christopher Hitchens)

    08/11/2008 4:41:10 AM PDT · by saganite · 7 replies · 244+ views
    Slate ^ | Aug. 11, 2008 | Christopher Hitchens
    One day I will publish my entire collection of upside-down Iraq headlines, where the true purport of the story is the inverse of the intended one. (Top billing thus far would go to the greatest downer of them all: the tale of Iraq's unemployed gravediggers, their always-insecure standard of living newly imperiled by the falling murder rate. You don't believe me? Wait for the forthcoming anthology.) While you wait, you might consider last week's astonishing report about the Iraqi budget surplus and the way in which the report was reported. Largely attributable to the bonanza in oil prices, to new...
  • GAO: Iraq could have $79 billion budget surplus

    08/07/2008 12:01:01 PM PDT · by houston1 · 29 replies · 270+ views
    San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 08/05/2008 | PAULINE JELINEK
    The Iraqi government could end the year with as much as a $79 billion budget surplus as ever-increasing oil revenues pile on top of leftover income the Iraqis still haven't spent on their national rebuilding effort, congressional auditors say. A report by the Government Accountability Office made public Tuesday prompted renewed calls from senators that Baghdad pay more of the bill for its own reconstruction, which has been heavily supported with U.S. funds. The projected Iraq surplus, including unspent money from 2005 through 2008, has been building because of rising world oil prices, increasing Iraqi oil production, the government's inability...
  • Al Doura Refinery Looking for Alternative Energy Sources

    07/13/2008 11:17:30 AM PDT · by SandRat · 5 replies · 196+ views
    Established in 1955, the al Doura Refinery, located in south central Baghdad, has the capacity to produce 90,000 barrels per day of diesel and gasoline product. Minister of Oil Directorate General, Dathar Taheen, is spearheading a Government of Iraq-funded refinery construction program that will increase the Doura Refinery's production capacity by an additional 140,000 barrels per day. USACE Photo. BAGHDAD — In the Doura district of Baghdad, security is improved near one of Iraq’s older oil refineries.Al Doura refinery, a rusting relic of Saddam’s pervasive neglect of oil infrastructure, wouldn’t seem to be the likely bastion of wind and solar...
  • Baghdad Pool Reopens After Refurbishment (ESSAYONS)

    07/10/2008 5:30:23 PM PDT · by SandRat · 9 replies · 211+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Sgt. Jason Thompson, USA
    BAGHDAD, July 10, 2008 – Summer days in Baghdad often rival the hottest days around the globe, and until recently, many residents of central Baghdad’s Karkh district did not have a place they could visit to escape from the heat. The Zawra Park public swimming pool in central Baghdad reopens, July 5, 2008. The park recently went through a thorough revitalization with the help of Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Thompson, Multinational Division Baghdad  (Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available. But a cooperative effort between...
  • Ramadi Rebuilds As Region Recovers From Violence

    06/29/2008 9:12:54 AM PDT · by SandRat · 2 replies · 102+ views
    Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Lance Cpl. Casey Jones, USMC
    RAMADI — Ramadi was regarded by many to be one of the most violent cities in Iraq for much of the last five years. The thought of rebuilding the troubled city during that time was improbable, the risks were too high. Now, Ramadi is much safer and rebuilding the city is no longer just an impossible idea but an everyday reality in the recovering region. The country is now transitioning from violence and fighting, to healing and freedom. The focus in Ramadi, and all of al-Anbar province, is no longer on warfare but on reconstructing the region’s damaged infrastructure. “Ramadi...
  • On the Menu In Baghdad, Fresh Hopes Restaurant Shattered by Bombing Reemerges as Symbol of Normalcy

    06/29/2008 3:40:52 AM PDT · by Laverne · 4 replies · 163+ views
    Washington Post dot Com ^ | 28 June 2008 | Saad al-Izzi
    In late 2005, a suicide bomber stepped inside Qadori, a renowned restaurant nestled alongside the Tigris River, and detonated his explosives-rigged belt. The blast killed seven employees and 22 customers and shattered a totem of Baghdad life. "It all happened in a single second," recalled Alaa Hashim, a 30-year-old cook who began working at the restaurant when he was 10. His brother died in the attack. After two years of unemployment for Hashim, the restaurant is back in business, having reopened last year on a quiet street in a fortified part of the capital.
  • Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP return to Iraq

    06/27/2008 11:47:16 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 5 replies · 276+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | 6/28/2008 | James Hider in Baghdad
    It was meant to be the rising tide that would lift the Iraqi economy out of years of war and sanctions, to finance reconstruction and guarantee cheap global supplies. Yet, five years on, big oil is only just starting to move cautiously into Iraq and, despite record prices, experts caution against another false dawn of optimism. Four oil giants - Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP - are to announce next week no-bid contracts to start servicing the creaking Iraqi oil infrastructure, crippled for decades by lack of investment and often targeted by insurgents. The deals came as the Oil...
  • Budget Workshop Helps Basra Move Forward

    06/20/2008 4:49:20 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 155+ views
    BASRA, Iraq, June 20, 2008 – The provincial reconstruction team for Iraq’s Basra province, along with the Gulf Region South district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Development Program concluded a two-day budget execution support workshop June 18 at the international airport here. The event provided a clear understanding of how the international community can support the provincial governor’s office and technical directorates for the design and implementation of projects for the rest of the year, said Army Maj. Daniel George, a PRT engineer assigned from Gulf Region South’s...
  • Foreign Investment in Iraq Up

    06/17/2008 3:03:58 PM PDT · by newbie2008 · 2 replies · 146+ views
    (Newser) – European and Asian investors are taking advantage of the recently stabilized Iraqi business climate, USA Today reports. US firms still regard Iraq as too dangerous to invest in, but that attitude may cost them the best opportunities. The firms “who are getting in on the ground floor are not American," says a Pentagon official. "It's ironic." Iraq has attracted $500 million in foreign investment just this year. Many of the countries with the largest business presence—such as France, Russia and Turkey—did not take part in the initial invasion. Americans' cold feet perplex some. Says a Washington-based Iraqi official:...
  • Remember Those Iraqi Benchmarks? Well, Guess What…

    06/17/2008 10:47:49 AM PDT · by george76 · 32 replies · 349+ views
    Pajamas Media ^ | June 17, 2008 | Abe Greenwald
    Democrats no longer talk of the 18 benchmarks for measuring progress in Iraq because so much progress has now taken place. Way back in the dark days of 2007, when the only popular question about the Iraq war concerned the degree of tragedy, Congress’s Iraq “benchmarks” were all the rage among Democrats. Every argument against a continued U.S. presence in Iraq was constructed around the Maliki administration’s apparent inability to meet the political and security-based milestones as outlined by America’s Democratic-majority Congress. Then something happened. The gains of the troop surge allowed the Iraqi government and citizenry to implement the...
  • Foreign Companies Rush In to Invest in Iraq

    06/17/2008 10:26:36 AM PDT · by mondoreb · 11 replies · 187+ views
    DBKP ^ | June 17, 2008 | Mondoreb
    We Won!The rest of the world apparently doesn't read the U.S. Mainstream Media. Or listen to Congressional Democrats, Harry Reid or Code Pink, either. Companies from around the world are rushing into Iraq to do business, due to the improved security climate in that country. Over a half-billion dollars worth of investments from countries that, in many cases, didn't support the U.S. in its efforts to improve Iraq's security. European and Asian companies are beating their American rivals into Iraq now that security has improved the investment climate, Iraq and U.S. officials say. "It's starting to turn … and the...
  • An L.A. Speculator Plans a Disney-Style Park in Baghdad

    06/08/2008 5:17:31 PM PDT · by Libloather · 12 replies · 492+ views
    LA Weekly ^ | 6/04/08 | DAVID FERRELL
    An L.A. Speculator Plans a Disney-Style Park in BaghdadWhat a blast By DAVID FERRELL Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - 6:19 pm Only five years after U.S. warplanes rained down “shock and awe” on Iraq, decimating towns and families, a few rich Californians have figured out how to counter the mortar attacks, suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism that continue to ravage the capital city, Baghdad. Build an amusement park. Not enough excitement in machine-gun fire and cars blowing up? Soon, thanks to some Los Angeles–area venture capitalists, Iraqis may have what every adrenaline junkie really craves — thrill rides....
  • French minister's visit signals change on Iraq

    05/31/2008 6:37:17 PM PDT · by zimfam007 · 18 replies · 206+ views ^ | 5/31/08 | Adrian Croft
    "French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner discussed investment projects to help rebuild Iraq on Saturday on a visit to the country whose 2003 invasion by U.S.-led troops Paris strongly opposed."